Preparing for employment

RNIB is working to help blind and partially sighted people overcome the additional barriers they often face when looking for work.

Preparing for employment - short films

Here are two short films which bring to life some the work we are doing:

Wendy's employment story

In this video we follow Wendy as she begins a group pre-employment programme.

Dave's employment story

In this video we look at how individually tailored support can also help those in long term unemployment.

Pre-employment programme

RNIB's Pre-employment programme is a modular course designed to support those in long-term unemployment to develop the necessary skills to find work. The programme allows participants to gain greater confidence and assertiveness when looking for work, giving them the ability to build independent job search skills.

Each module addresses a barrier often faced by jobseekers with sight loss, such as:

  • finding a career suitable for youLook at your interests, abilities, and values to help you understand career options
  • looking for workLearn tools to help you build and maintain networks of prospective employers
  • disclosing your sight lossBuild confidence concerning disability disclosure, learn how to present yourself in a positive light and respond to employer’s possible objections
  • communication skills and presentationsDiscuss different communication styles and how you can acquire an awareness of nonverbal communication skills such as body language and facial expression
  • interviewsApply what you’ve learned in the course to successfully complete a mock job interview.

Suitable candidates for the programme will be referred to it by their Disability Employment Advisor or via their welfare to work provider.

The course is currently being run in some of our regional centres. If you would like further information, please email [email protected], or ring our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out if the course is being run in a regional centre near you.

Residential training courses

Residential training courses can help people with sight loss get a job, gain more experience to keep a job or become self-employed. Blind and partially sighted people who are unemployed can apply for residential training if there aren’t any suitable training courses available locally. You can apply for residential training and find out what courses are available by contacting your Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre. The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) offers a Specialist Employment Support programme for adult learners. Further information at the Royal National College for the Blind website.

Find IT training in your area

Do you want to learn computer skills? RNIB have developed a UK-wide database of learning providers - colleges, libraries, local societies, community-based organisations, etc. - that can offer training courses and skill development in IT and access technology for blind and partially sighted people.

All of the trainer providers have computers that are equipped with screen reading and screen magnification software and staff or volunteers that can confidently teach blind and partially sighted people.

They can teach you how to use a computer without a mouse, and all of their training materials can be produced in accessible formats such a large print or electronically.

More than 80 entries have now been included or updated on Sightline - RNIB's searchable, online directory of services for blind and partially sighted people. Simply type the phrase "access technology training" or "IT training" along with your postcode into Sightline to find your nearest provider.

Project Aspiro: Do you want help planning your career?

The World Blind Union have developed Project Aspiro - a career planning and employment website for people who are blind or partially sighted as well as service providers, friends and family, and employers.

The website has a wealth of information and handy tools that address the career planning process, including living independently, learning and education, preparing for work, and working life. There are video and audio clips of people with sight loss enjoying meaningful careers and profiles of organisations, programs, services and useful websites from around the world. Visit the Project Aspiro website.

One to one employment support

Our employment specialists can offer you one to one employment support to help you find work. For more information about these services please visit our finding vacancies and job search resources section. Contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and they will be able to put you through to your nearest RNIB or Action centre.

Are you a professional working with job seekers?

If you work with blind and partially sighted job seekers, our employment professionals section contains some useful advice and resources designed to help you.